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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Years Eve Inspiration: Black Skirt 3 Ways

One of my resolutions this year is to avoid spending money on things that aren't needed (which will be very hard to do). So this New Years Eve, if I were to go out, I would love to reinvent some staple pieces. This is just my rendition of a black circle skirt, but anyone could use another staple piece like a sheer blouse or blazer.

I'm actually not going to a fancy party or anything, but just a relaxed get together at a friends house. It's still fun to imagine what I would wear though (maybe for those college days!). If you're staying in to watch Dick Clark's show with sweatpants or going to a schmancy party, be safe and have fun!
Look #1:There's nothing like a little sparkle for New Years Eve! I'm obsessed with blazers, and think they're a piece everyone should have. It'll keep you warm(er) and polished. Also, wedges are much easier to walk in than heels!
Look #2: I'm absolutely in love with these printed tights. I think high waisted skirts are always flattering (especially for petite girls like me), and wearing a some cool tights really makes a difference. 
Look #3: This (mostly) comfy outfit is probably my favorite one! Since being comfortable is the most important thing to me, it'd be easy to be up all night with this on. Also, the statement necklace really brings everything together, giving the whole look a bit of sparkle. (It's made by See Song Designs!) 
 Well, that is it for my last post of the year! Click on the links to see where everything is from. Happy New Year to all of my lovely readers.

See you soon,
Stephanie


Monday, December 23, 2013

The BEST Molasses Cookies

I have been making these molasses cookies with my mom for years, and they have officially become a tradition. Just the smell brings me back to the 4th grade. It's true, Martha Stewart really knows her molasses cookies! The only changes I have made is I use a teaspoon sized ice cream scoop to ensure equal sized cookies instead of a tablespoon. And with the ice cream scoop I use, it makes 50 cookies, not 36! I believe I have perfected the baking time for my personal preference: hardened edges with a gooey middle.







Recipe courtesy of marthastewart.com (with my own little tweaks)

Italicized = my tips and comments

Ingredients

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar (1 cup for dough, 1/2 cup for rolling)
    • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/4 cup molasses

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a shallow bowl, place 1/2 cup sugar; set aside. (This is for rolling the cookies before baking)
  2. With an electric mixer, beat butter and remaining cup of sugar until combined. Beat in egg and then molasses (spray measuring cup before adding molasses) until combined. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in dry ingredients, just until a dough forms. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Pinch off and roll dough into balls, each equal to 1 tablespoon (I use a 1 teaspoon ice cream scoop). Roll balls in reserved sugar to coat.
  4. Arrange balls on baking sheets, about 3 inches apart. Bake, one sheet at a time, until edges of cookies are just firm, 10 to 15 (11) minutes (cookies can be baked two sheets at a time, but they will not crackle uniformly). Cool 1 minute on baking sheets; transfer to racks to cool completely. Makes 36 (50). Store in an airtight container for 4 days.
[What I love to leave by the fireplace]

[Perfect as a gift]
Honestly, half of the reason why I love these cookies so much is the smell it gives when they are baking. It always puts a smile on my face. Happy Holidays! 

Stephanie xx

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

L'oreal Magic Nude Liquid Powder Foundation

For the past 6 years that I've been obsessed with makeup, I've never been into wearing foundation. Sure, I love watching people's foundation routines, but for some reason I didn't like the idea of putting it on my skin. It wasn't until this summer when I tried out my first ever foundation, the Maybelline Fit Me Stick Foundation (which is very light), where I am slowly venturing into the foundation world.

I prefer a light coverage for my combination oily skin, since I don't like to see or feel the makeup. My mom actually first bought this on a whim (I do not recommend buying things on whims), and hated it, so she gave it to me. On the bottle, it says to not use any brushes, but I actually prefer to not touch my face. Thankfully I have found the perfect brush!
Real Techniques Buffer Brush          Source
As for the foundation, I was pleasantly surprised. I just dot this all over my face, and blend it in with a real techniques buffer brush. It only takes a minute or two to do so, and it does actually set in a "magical" powder like form. I still do set it with a powder, but a finely milled Makeup Forever one, not a powder foundation. Also, be careful when pouring it out, as it is a super thin liquid and runny! And most importantly, don't forget to shake the bottle as the liquid can separate.
As you can see, it is very thin!
I only use one layer, because this easily sticks to dry patches (moisturize moisturize!), and two layers already looks cakey on me. I would say it has a light to medium coverage overall, that isn't easily build able. This retails for around $13 at most places, which to me is a little more expensive for the drugstore price compared to the $6.95 Maybelline Stick Foundation...nevertheless, I still really adore it. The only negative connotation is the packaging. I cannot stand it. I must pour it out onto the back of my hand because it has no pump and is made of glass packaging.

I would definitely recommend this to family and friends only if they have oily skin, and aren't looking for full coverage. I think this lasts nicely throughout the day, and feels weightless!

Overall Rating: 4/5
Color Selection: 3/5
Photogenic Qualities: 2/5 (turns faces a little bit pink/white!)
Cost: $$


Friday, November 29, 2013

Turning 17

Another year has gone by. I am officially 17, only one year from being an adult. Being the youngest person in my grade, it feels good to catch up with the rest of the senior class. I have always been the "baby", but I don't mind at all. Part of me would love to pack up and go to college, but the other part of me wishes I was a kid again with no worries in the world (except for those monsters under the bed). So for right now, I guess being a high school senior is just where I'm supposed to be.
Thank you to my best friend Edie for this amazing card!
Every year, it's interesting to reflect on what has changed, and what hasn't. Friendships, relationships, feelings, people, interests, etc. I see who I can trust, and who has drifted away. I see what I miss and what I'm glad left my life. And most importantly, I see what I need to improve.

Thank you so much to all of my readers as this blog is something I love to do. Looking back, I am so happy I started it last year.

As always, see you soon!
Stephanie xx


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving: "Food" for Thought

Thanksgiving has to be one of my favorite holidays of the year; and it is not just for the food..I really love the atmosphere and feeling of Thanksgiving. It made me think of this quote:

"When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around," - Willie Nelson

Taking a moment to make a list of the things and people you are thankful for is all it takes. Just look at how long that list is, and be amazed! Not only is Thanksgiving about the scrumptious food, but being grateful and with family.
Source
..And of course black friday. I don't plan on shopping today, but maybe on Friday. I feel like today should be a day reserved for rest and family. I don't like how waiting in line for a good deal can overshadow the meaning of the Thanksgiving. I'm looking at you Walmart!!

My family is more of the laid back type, so we don't really dress up for Thanksgiving. I still wanted to feel in the fall spirit, so this burgundy infinity scarf is perfect with a striped sweater and thick leggings! (The leggings will be comfortable for my food baby)
Eyes - Urban Decay Naked Basics // Lips - Clinique Black Honey
Sweater - Nautica (Men's) // Scarf - a random boutique in NYC // Earrings - Target // 

The food. Much of it was spent prepping the night before by my mom and I so today wasn't that stressful at all! Coming from a Vietnamese family we did have a couple asian dishes along with your typical Thanksgiving meal.

-Asian Spring Rolls
-Papaya Salad
-Coconut Rice
-Coconut and Curry Cauliflower
-Butternut Squash
-Mashed Potatoes
-Stuffing
-Green Beans and Bacon
-Turkey
-Gateau Fondant Aux Poires (French Pear Cake)

Squash
Getting fancy setting the table
Coconut Curry Cauliflower
Roasted Garlic Green Beans
Stuffing w/carrots and celary
The center of attention
1 of 2 plates..
The pear cake before taking it out of the spring pan

I will be posting how to make a couple of my favorite dishes from today in the future! Happy holidays!

See you all soon,
Stephanie x









Saturday, November 9, 2013

How To: Relax

It's just been one of those weeks. Getting four hours of sleep a night. Doing homework the teachers have all magically assigned on the same night. And, best of all, finishing college applications (with no help whatsoever from the Common App). It's been a lot of work lately, but everyone needs a little time alone. I'd go crazy...possibly ending up like the people in The Purge.
Here are just some ways I like to de-stress and relax.
edited
source
eating healthy comfort food

Yes, the healthy aspect is important to me as I am not the best at portion sizes... But if you have any self control, then go ahead and enjoy those brownies and ice cream! If you're like me, some of my favorite comfort foods include:


Whole Grain English Muffin Pizza

Healthy Nutella (LOVE) 

Healthy Hot Chocolate 

The recipes are easy to follow, feel nice in the tummy, and are scrumptious.

getting lost in a book


source

I really wish I could read more during the school year. So with the ample time I have (mostly on top of the toilet), I love to read. From romance to mystery to sappy teen beach reads, getting lost in a book is the best way to forget whatever is going in life at the moment. It's an endless abyss of imagination in what I like to call "the book world". We all have that one fictional character we would like to pretend is real...
Here are some of my favorite books at the moment:

Now I'll Tell You Everything - Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Gone Series - Michael Grant

Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte




those darn addicting television shows

There's really nothing like staying up to date on all of those love triangles or government scandals! Oh the cliffhangers. They really get me every time. I recommend to try these tv shows: 
source

The Blacklist

Arrow

The Vampire Diaries

Pretty Little Liars (like everyone else)

Hart of Dixie

Sigh...the CW is my weakness. Without spending any money, I mainly watch them on On Demand with my family's Comcast subscription, or on a tv network's website such as cwtv.com! Netflix or hulu plus is also a good investment. If all else fails: I rent it from the library.



take a stroll

Sometimes a little piece and quiet is all I need. With the leaves being an abundant of colors, it's always nice to get out of the house just to take a deep breath in the crisp, cold air. I like to walk in surrounding subdivisions where it is not close to the road - away from the noisy cars. These are the times I wish I had a dog...

weheartit

Remember, relaxing is just as important as working. It's all about finding that balance (which is easy to say and hard to do).

Have any other music, tv show, or food suggestions? Tell me on any social media in the left column!

As always, thanks for reading!

Stephanie x



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Vintage Flea Market Treasures

A couple of weeks ago (before it was below freezing temperatures), I saw a local flea market while I was driving be. This lovely market was held at a greenhouse that contained a little gift shop inside. I was only able to attend for 45 minutes, but I purchased a couple little things out of the dozens of booths- it was so hard to not buy more! Never underestimate what events your local area might have, as I was pleasantly surprised!

The little greenhouse where this was held was so adorable - I loved the colors of the walls! They also had a fairy garden set up with mini furniture. I wanted to live there...


Each booth was unique in their own way. From selling books, food, candles, shoes, and clothes, they all had their own definition of "vintage" which was interesting.





And of course, there was food..










 Here are the couple of items I purchased that were irresistible. 




This book was only $3, and I love the old fashion artwork and classic tales. Maybe I will read this to my kids someday!


I ended up choosing the cherry pie and oatmeal cookie to taste. Both were only a dollar or two. They were honestly some of the best baked goods I have ever eaten! With just the right amount of sweetness, it was a perfect balance. Check out Maisy's Pie Company!


The last things I bought were these vintage cards for only 25 cents each. One is a birthday card, a 'secret sister' card, and two are 'special friend' cards (aka secret admirers). I miss the elegant and old fashioned way of things. I couldn't stop smiling reading all of the cards, people were so polite back then!

I hope you enjoyed this week's post! Stay tuned for some fall themed posts!
Thanks for reading,

Stephanie x

To see more about the vintage shop where this was held, check out grblooms.com!